Blindfold EQ by Audiothing

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
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465 posts since 15 Apr, 2020

Post Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:51 pm

It's free and has been out for a few months. Forces you to only use your ears, without any indication of the actual frequency / gain / q-factor amount. It sounds like an interesting approach to me. Anyone uses it regularly? If so: how is the experience mixing blindfolded?

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KVRAF
4563 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Post Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:17 pm

When I use an EQ I often click;hold on a parameter, close my eyes and adjust until I like what I hear. Nice to have a dedicated valueless plugin, but you can just do this closing your eyes with any plugin.

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KVRAF
4700 posts since 25 Dec, 2004

Post Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:35 pm

it's probably my most used EQ.
mixing "blindfolded" is no thing

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Topic Starter

465 posts since 15 Apr, 2020

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:23 am

sqigls wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:35 pm
it's probably my most used EQ.
mixing "blindfolded" is no thing
Interesting. You mean it's not an issue, it's easy?
Would you say you got better mixes with this method?

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Topic Starter

465 posts since 15 Apr, 2020

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:26 am

plexuss wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:17 pm
When I use an EQ I often click;hold on a parameter, close my eyes and adjust until I like what I hear. Nice to have a dedicated valueless plugin, but you can just do this closing your eyes with any plugin.
Yes, I often do this. Closing my eyes when I tune parameters. Somehow its easier to focus on the details of sound when the eyes are closed. But this plugin seems to take it even one step further, since there is no indication at all.

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KVRAF
6627 posts since 13 Jan, 2003 from Darkest Kent, UK

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:29 am

I cut my teeth on budget equipment (4 tracks, mixers etc) which never gave any indication of what you adjusting unless you looked in the manual so 'mixing blindfolded' is just what I do. Nice to have graphical EQs nowadays for troublesome resonances etc but the concept of having to know what frequency I'm adjusting is, is just alien to me.
()_()
(O.o)
(")(")

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KVRAF
4700 posts since 25 Dec, 2004

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:23 am

Kazi7 wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:23 am
sqigls wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:35 pm
it's probably my most used EQ.
mixing "blindfolded" is no thing
Interesting. You mean it's not an issue, it's easy?
Would you say you got better mixes with this method?
it's just what i do naturally.
Like GaryG said, i started on gear that was either worn out or home made... i've just always been able to feel my way around by quickly responding to what i'm listening to. so if "this method" is listening then i guess so. Blindfold EQ is surprisingly responsive and easy to use, i think.

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KVRAF
4563 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 8:48 am

Kazi7 wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:26 am
plexuss wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:17 pm
When I use an EQ I often click;hold on a parameter, close my eyes and adjust until I like what I hear. Nice to have a dedicated valueless plugin, but you can just do this closing your eyes with any plugin.
Yes, I often do this. Closing my eyes when I tune parameters. Somehow its easier to focus on the details of sound when the eyes are closed. But this plugin seems to take it even one step further, since there is no indication at all.
Yes that's a cool feature which makes it easier for people like us that use that kind of workflow. I also use Elosis AirEQ which has a feature to hide values. Speaking of which AirEQ is an incredibly nice sounding EQ for me and they dropped the price dramatically.

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KVRist
73 posts since 17 Feb, 2018

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:47 am

The problem with this stuff is that in bedroom/home/project studios, do you trust your monitors and acoustics and ears enough to go this route?

I love the idea, but am too chicken for the following reasons:

1. My ears have had a battering over the years from practising guitar and drums too loud, playing gigs, rehearsals, going to gigs, mixing too loud etc. The top end is not reliable.

2. Does the bottom end of my setup extend audibly far enough to prevent issues? Possibly not.

If you're in a good space, with good ears and good monitoring then these types of things would be ace IMO.

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KVRAF
4563 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:18 pm

ZargonTheMagnificent wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:47 am
The problem with this stuff is that in bedroom/home/project studios, do you trust your monitors and acoustics and ears enough to go this route?

I love the idea, but am too chicken for the following reasons:

1. My ears have had a battering over the years from practising guitar and drums too loud, playing gigs, rehearsals, going to gigs, mixing too loud etc. The top end is not reliable.

2. Does the bottom end of my setup extend audibly far enough to prevent issues? Possibly not.

If you're in a good space, with good ears and good monitoring then these types of things would be ace IMO.
Your set-up is your set-up. There is no "perfect" when it comes to audio monitoring. If anything the limitation to "perfect" is our physiology and congnition (ears and brain) which are different between people and also change for the individual throught he day and over time.

With that in mind I disagree with you: These tools are good workflow for those that work that way despite the monitoring and hearing quality. Those are a whole separate issue. Work with what you have and if it's important prioritize enhancing them. But even if your monitors are 10 year old earbuds, you can still benefit from "blind" parameter adjustment.

A good way to get your monitor audio in better shape is to use a calibration tool like Sonarworks or Arc from IK. It's some $100's but it will help to calibrate your monitors closer to a "standard" (flat). Then, you know you are closer to flat coming out of the monitors and then you have a reference to work from.

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KVRist
73 posts since 17 Feb, 2018

Post Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:04 am

plexuss wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:18 pm
ZargonTheMagnificent wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:47 am
The problem with this stuff is that in bedroom/home/project studios, do you trust your monitors and acoustics and ears enough to go this route?

I love the idea, but am too chicken for the following reasons:

1. My ears have had a battering over the years from practising guitar and drums too loud, playing gigs, rehearsals, going to gigs, mixing too loud etc. The top end is not reliable.

2. Does the bottom end of my setup extend audibly far enough to prevent issues? Possibly not.

If you're in a good space, with good ears and good monitoring then these types of things would be ace IMO.
Your set-up is your set-up. There is no "perfect" when it comes to audio monitoring. If anything the limitation to "perfect" is our physiology and congnition (ears and brain) which are different between people and also change for the individual throught he day and over time.

With that in mind I disagree with you: These tools are good workflow for those that work that way despite the monitoring and hearing quality. Those are a whole separate issue. Work with what you have and if it's important prioritize enhancing them. But even if your monitors are 10 year old earbuds, you can still benefit from "blind" parameter adjustment.

A good way to get your monitor audio in better shape is to use a calibration tool like Sonarworks or Arc from IK. It's some $100's but it will help to calibrate your monitors closer to a "standard" (flat). Then, you know you are closer to flat coming out of the monitors and then you have a reference to work from.
Calibration isn't going to restore the top end of old ears/damaged hearing, nor will it suddenly give your small monitors full low-end extension.

Obviously we should (and we do, I would imagine) primarily use our ears/experience/taste to EQ within a mix, but are you telling me that you do that without checking visual representations of audio in the context of a project/home studio? I don't know what you mix (ie; if anybody else ever hears it) but if your aim is to have stuff mastered and released, and if your mixing situation is not ideal (a project/home studio) then I bet you £5.50 that you use your eyes as well as your ears when you check tonal balance.

Otherwise, how do you know what's happening in the areas you can't hear?

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KVRAF
2581 posts since 26 Jul, 2015 from Philadelphia

Post Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:18 am

ZargonTheMagnificent wrote:
Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:04 am
Calibration isn't going to restore the top end of old ears/damaged hearing, nor will it suddenly give your small monitors full low-end extension.

Obviously we should (and we do, I would imagine) primarily use our ears/experience/taste to EQ within a mix, but are you telling me that you do that without checking visual representations of audio in the context of a project/home studio? I don't know what you mix (ie; if anybody else ever hears it) but if your aim is to have stuff mastered and released, and if your mixing situation is not ideal (a project/home studio) then I bet you £5.50 that you use your eyes as well as your ears when you check tonal balance.

Otherwise, how do you know what's happening in the areas you can't hear?
I did a video about this a few weeks ago. You can find it on YouTube if you follow the link in my sig.

There is a difference in terms of what type of damaged hearing we are talking about. If it is a mild to moderate hearing loss in some frequency areas, you can still primarily use your ears. We do hear everything the same way. It is not that my hearing loss suddenly kicks in when I open my DAW and disappears again when I open Spotify. So, as long as you are referencing properly, you can indeed rely on your ears to match what you are hearing in your production with what other people produce. This also makes clear that calibration software like Sonarworks can be useful, but is never critical. Our ears perceive sound colored anyway (unless you are some very lucky person with absolutely perfect hearing). I came to realize that this hunt for the ultimate flatness is generally somewhat pointless.

If we are talking about more dramatic hearing loss, like the age related loss of hearing above a certain frequency, things change though. I, for example, cannot hear anything above 12.5kHz. This is unfortunate, but in my age group not really considered abnormal. So, for anything above 12.5kHz I need to use visuals as the primary indicator. Once I'm done, I usually send it to a mastering engineer with the request to check if there is anything funny going on in the higher frequencies.

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Topic Starter

465 posts since 15 Apr, 2020

Post Sat Sep 18, 2021 6:04 am

ZargonTheMagnificent wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:47 am
The problem with this stuff is that in bedroom/home/project studios, do you trust your monitors and acoustics and ears enough to go this route?

I love the idea, but am too chicken for the following reasons:

1. My ears have had a battering over the years from practising guitar and drums too loud, playing gigs, rehearsals, going to gigs, mixing too loud etc. The top end is not reliable.

2. Does the bottom end of my setup extend audibly far enough to prevent issues? Possibly not.

If you're in a good space, with good ears and good monitoring then these types of things would be ace IMO.
Good points. I have developed slight tinnitus over the years, but my hearing overall is still okay. I got some decent tabletop nearfield speakers. Sure, my room is not perfect for mixing, but the secret is: don't turn up your nearfield speakers too loud! Listening too loud will increase the bad resonances in an untreated room, so it will introduce more artefacts. Nearfield speakers at modest volumes are perfect for imperfect rooms. :tu:

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KVRist
73 posts since 17 Feb, 2018

Post Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:28 am

Kazi7 wrote:
Sat Sep 18, 2021 6:04 am
ZargonTheMagnificent wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:47 am
The problem with this stuff is that in bedroom/home/project studios, do you trust your monitors and acoustics and ears enough to go this route?

I love the idea, but am too chicken for the following reasons:

1. My ears have had a battering over the years from practising guitar and drums too loud, playing gigs, rehearsals, going to gigs, mixing too loud etc. The top end is not reliable.

2. Does the bottom end of my setup extend audibly far enough to prevent issues? Possibly not.

If you're in a good space, with good ears and good monitoring then these types of things would be ace IMO.
Good points. I have developed slight tinnitus over the years, but my hearing overall is still okay. I got some decent tabletop nearfield speakers. Sure, my room is not perfect for mixing, but the secret is: don't turn up your nearfield speakers too loud! Listening too loud will increase the bad resonances in an untreated room, so it will introduce more artefacts. Nearfield speakers at modest volumes are perfect for imperfect rooms. :tu:
Very enjoyable video!

It's great to hear (!!) from people with similarly...bad ears. As you say, it is easy to panic, but what's the point? The choice is either quitting or finding a way through it; obviously you (and I, and many out there) choose the option to carry on and work round it.

Very good. Thanks!

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